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Tax examiner, collector and revenue agent

Tax examiner, collector and revenue agent determine tax liability or collect taxes from individuals or business firms according to prescribed laws and regulations. Sample of reported job titles: City Tax Auditor, Delinquent Tax Collection Assistant, Revenue Agent, Revenue Collector, Revenue Officer, Revenue Specialist, Tax Auditor, Tax Collector, Tax Compliance Officer, Tax Examiner


Tax examiner, collector and revenue agent

Tax examiners, collectors, and revenue agents perform different and overlapping jobs to make sure citizens pay their fair share. They work at different levels of government, from rural town halls to towering federal office buildings. They use accounting, legal, and interpersonal skills every day to ... maintain the tax rolls.

Tax collectors oversee the billing and collecting of taxes, usually on a local level. Even with the help of computers, this task can create mountains of paperwork. They work with taxpayers to resolve delinquent tax bills. 

Examiners and revenue agents pore over tax returns and other paperwork to check accounting methods and to decide on whether taxpayers and businesses have complied with very complicated tax laws. If an audit is needed, the revenue agent meets with taxpayers and their representatives to resolve discrepancies and at times, to revise their tax bill.

Daily tasks

1. Notify taxpayers of any overpayment or underpayment, and either issue a refund or request further payment.
2. Impose payment deadlines on delinquent taxpayers and monitor payments to ensure that deadlines are met.
3. Check tax forms to verify that names and taxpayer identification numbers are correct, that computations have been performed correctly, or that amounts match those on supporting documentation.
4. Maintain knowledge of tax code changes, and of accounting procedures and theory to properly evaluate financial information.
5. Collect taxes from individuals or businesses according to prescribed laws and regulations.
6. Contact taxpayers by mail or telephone to address discrepancies and to request supporting documentation.
7. Answer questions from taxpayers and assist them in completing tax forms.
8. Maintain records for each case, including contacts, telephone numbers, and actions taken.

Key knowledge areas

Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Economics and Accounting - Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

Key skills

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Active Learning: Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Mathematics: Using mathematics to solve problems.

Different levels of government collect different types of taxes. The federal (national government level) government deals primarily with personal and business income taxes. State (town) governments collect income and sales taxes. Local governments collect sales and property taxes.

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